Next Thursday, May 16, 2013, Bradley Andrews will be presenting his senior research project about the effects of parental involvement in sexual education for their sons. His research is important because this is an area where people could perhaps do better. As Bradley will discuss, over all, 50% of young men seem to engage in sexual intercourse before they are 18.

Bradley is completing his undergraduate work this semester with a double major in Behavioral Health, and Christian Ministries, and a minor in Family Studies. I, Dr. Gayle Brosnan-Watters, am a psychology professor teaching students Research Methods. I mentored Bradley starting with his proposal that is required for Research Methods, and then for the past year as he developed his design, constructed his survey instrument, gathered and analyzed the resulting data, and wrote his report. I have not had to do much except read and grade his papers, and give advice! Bradley has been a completely self-motivated student. Once he understood what was expected of him, he set out to do what was needed.

I have been a researcher for most of my career, starting when I was earning my PhD at Washington University in St. Louis.  However, I always worked with mice or rats!  Working with Bradley was my first experience working with human subjects, and both he and I had to go through extensive human subjects research training in order to be able to do this work.  It was quite intense.  Although I had written proposals for an Animal Care and Use Committee before, I had never done anything like this. I learned a great deal myself, as did Bradley. All research done on any campus must be submitted to the Institutional Review Board (IRB).  Bradley wrote everything himself to submit to the IRB, making sure that he covered everything they would need to gain approval.  In fact, the whole idea for his research was Bradley’s, from start to finish, and he will explain where his idea came from in his presentation.

I also want to say that Bradley has worked with at least five of my students currently taking Research Methods, helping them with their papers.  He has done this because he wanted to help them, and for no other reason than that he is a wonderful Christian man!

We hope to present this work at a scientific conference, and perhaps eventually to publish it.  Although his hypothesis, that if both parents talk to their sons between the ages of 8 and 12, the boys will be more likely to delay sexual debut, was not statistically supported, there were some interesting findings, which you can learn about at the presentation on Thursday.  I have also been in contact with a Christian colleague at a secular school, and we hope to replicate the study there in the fall.  Bradley will be in graduate school then, but he will still be involved, and will do any presentation that we have!  Any paper that is written will have Bradley Andrews as first author!!  I am so proud of him, and so blessed to be part of his life, and the life of Arizona Christian University!!!

Bradley’s presentation will be at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2013 in room SAC101 of ACU’s Student Activity Center.